Sanctuary 15


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2018

Len Collin
Kieran Coppinger, Charlene Kelly, Robery Doherty, Patrick Becker
88 mins, 2016, Ireland

Aided by their care worker, a couple in love embark on an *illegal romantic rendezvous in this heart-warming romcom that features performances of great gentleness and honesty from its terrific young leads.

Larry (Kieran Coppinger), has Downs syndrome. Sophie (Charlene Kelly), has severe epilepsy. Sophie is cared for in a community facility and Larry is at home with his mum. When they meet in Sophie’s care home the pair find themselves falling in love and with the help of care worker Tom arrange to have an afternoon together in a local Galway hotel after he sneaks them away from a supervised group trip to the cinema. What do they do once they are alone there? How do they express a love that dare not speak its name? And are they aware that they are about to break the law? (*Until last year the law in Ireland stated sexual relations between people with developmental disabilities was forbidden unless they were married).

Hilarious and heart-breaking, this tale of two young people trying to be together in a world doing everything to keep them apart is a brilliant piece of subversive cinema that really did make a difference when it helped force a law change in Ireland in 2017. A fabulous film and a fitting result for two lovers who refuse to be defined by their disabilities.